What does it mean to feel like you belong?

I’m thrilled to share that we’ve begun our next series on the topic of Belonging. Do you feel like you belong? Do you belong to your family? To your community? To yourself? For many people, the honest answer to those questions is “no.” 

In modern society, we don’t have a clear tribe. It’s easy to question where or with whom we belong. We can dream about fully accepting ourselves, having amazing family and partner relationships, meeting regularly in-person with our larger community, and activating our life purpose. With all those aspects in place, it seems like we’d find the belonging that we’re looking for, right?

However, there are a couple hang ups. First, how the heck do we create those things?? I’m sure most of us have already tried diligently. 

Second, what if we have some or all those things, and it still feels like there’s something missing. Do we try harder? Do we make a greater effort to deepen our relationships and build a better, more reliable sense of tribe? Do we focus on healing whatever seems to be in the way of creating family, community, and self-acceptance?

Or, is the longing to belong pointing to something deeper? Is there no amount of trying and healing that will ultimately fulfill our innermost yearning? And, is this disappointment actually a gift?

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past months contemplating belonging. In all honesty, it originated from a place of pain. Even though I’ve been in Boulder for over five years now, it seemed like something was missing from my community. I needed more.  I’d leave social gatherings and feel let down that the intimacy I desired wasn’t fully there. I’d finish a walk with someone and wonder if we were similar enough to be close friends. 

I questioned whether it was my problem. Perhaps I wasn’t spending enough time on my connections. I set the intention for more girls’ nights and gave myself permission to spend time during the weekdays connecting with people I love. 

I also reconsidered modern society. Perhaps we simply miss tribal society! Now, with most of our connections moderated by technology, perhaps the medium itself isn’t capable of truly meeting our human needs. I became more appreciative of face-to-face time and turned texting into phone calls and phone calls into Skype dates. 

Next, I dove even deeper and wondered if the wound of not belonging was simply old pain from my childhood. I always felt very different from my extended family and had additional challenges within my immediate family. So, maybe the problem was me?!! Perhaps if I healed my childhood pain and traumas, I would open to a sense of belonging in a new way.

On one level, all of the above is true. Creating more intentional relationships with others and healing childhood trauma has a massive effect on our happiness and well-being. 

Again, however, what happens when you’ve done all of that and something… is… still… missing.

I have to laugh at myself. I feel like I’ve had a huge blind spot around this topic of belonging in the past few months. I guess this is why I chose the topic as our focus! It didn’t come easily to me, which made me extremely curious about it. 

I’ve spent many, many hours in the past months in meditation, contemplation, research, and conversation about belonging. It’s all been necessary and helpful. However, for me, my channeling is what finally takes me to the deepest core of where I want to go. Channeling began for me as writing letters and evolved into speaking out loud to others in sessions (read more details here>>). 

I channel Koyani (a simple nickname) and they have been my greatest, most intimate teacher. I fall to my knees wondering who I would be without them. It’s impossible to imagine because they are such a close part of me and my spiritual growth. They keep teaching me and humbling me. My gratitude everlasting goes to them for their guidance, love, and offering. Thank you.

In a moment of intense vulnerability and humility, I’ve decided to share the conversation with them that I had about belonging. Another scary moment for me!! I’ve never publicly shared one of my letters to them before. When they’re teaching me about something I haven’t quite understood yet, it’s still helpful for me to have the exchange in writing so that I can more clearly feel the difference between their consciousness and mine.

I hope you all enjoy. Or at least I hope it inspires you to go to the wisest aspect of yourself and divine your own answers.

Love, Kelley

P.S. Please excuse the unedited profanity! ;)

Our Dialogue:

Koyani (in italics): You’re looking at this in the wrong way. Go back to the original question. What is belonging?  You’re trying to search for something. What happens if you stop the search?

Me (regular font): Belonging is inherent to my nature, I think. It feels like a part of who I am. It feels like the understanding that I’m one with all things and with spirit. 

Koyani: So you already belong?

Me: Yes, definitely. Definitely.

So what’s the real question? 

I guess the real question is how do we manifest this sense of belonging. How do we create a world where this principle of our nature is reflected back to us?

Better. Yes. Good. Very good. So how?

Wow, I don’t know. I’m not sure. I feel like I struggle with this. 

Because you think belonging is a feeling. You think it’s a state of being. 


All experiences change. All experiences change. All states pass. Do not try to create a feeling or state that will be the permanent and eternal reflection of your nature. You have to surrender to the creation. There are other beings.. free will… the dynamism of duality. You can’t always have what you want here. You can’t create a community that gives you a sense of the eternal. That’s not how it works.

Well this is strange then. You’re saying there’s a way to create and manifest belonging, but you’re also telling me that I can’t create that through my community.


So what is it?

Belonging is who you are. Be that.

So in the being of it, it creates itself.


*sigh* *teary* I’m overcomplicating it… It’s so much more simple. It’s Grace.


So then what do I tell them? How do I tell them it’s who they already are? They— we— want friendships and community in the real world. There are human needs here that people desire to fulfill. Sh#t. This is just it right? The desire to fulfill them takes us outward when the real answer is inward. It’s inside. Again. ... So are the relationships and friendships and community and family a surrender? Do we surrender whether we have them or not? ... Damn. I tried to go into doing again. Hold on. *deep breath* ... You choose to love and hurt. Love and hurt. Love and hurt.

      I know that I belong. And as this knowing, I open my human heart. I love and I hurt. I love and I hurt. I love and I hurt.

      That’s it. It’s not a fu#king concept. It’s not. Sh#t. I’ve been making belonging into a concept. And it’s not. It’s my nature. And as my nature, I live. I open. I give and breathe and be.

It’s that you’ve been feeling a lot of hurt lately. A lot of hurt. And in your coping with the hurt, you’ve gone back into trying to “figure it out”. You made it a concept so that you could control it and hope to fix it. 

Aw, crap. You’re so right. I see it now. I see it. It’s so strange not to fix the hurt. To just be with it. It goes so counter to the natural instinct of the mind.

The mind can be trained. Taught. The Buddhists know this. It’s a new mind. It’s the awakening consciousness on the planet.

I want to ask why it has hurt so much lately. Why have friendships been so hard? I wonder if I’m not learning a lesson very well. I wonder if I’m alone.

It’s not for you to know why there has been hurt. Why not? Why not hurt? Does God have a problem with hurt? Does God not allow hurt?

But it’s so painful. It hurts!! It’s uncomfortable. 

Only because it’s breaking you open. You know this. The hurt breaks you open. Breaks you into the nothingness that you are. This is why you are still learning. Teaching this series so that you can learn. 

I know. I’m so grateful for you. I wish it wasn’t so hard. This learning process is so painful and hard. 

Well, what else do you have to do? Do you have somewhere to be?

Ha. I guess not. lol

So, why not keep going?

Yeah true, why not.

It’s makes the knowing and epiphany so much sweeter. That’s the reason you know. Because it makes the realization and discovery of your nature so beautiful, glorious, and exciting. And it IS that glorious. It deserves all the awe in the world. So you create an experience that allows you to have this awe. So so much awe. So much awe. So much.

Have I missed anything?

Well go in and check.

I feel like I might mess this up. Forget again or something. It’s so gosh dang simple that I keep overcomplicating it.

Well, that’s okay. You can keep learning, eh? 

Yeah, guess so. I don’t have anywhere to be. :)